Devolution Poll: The Most Telling Finding

Yellowknife, April 16, 2013 – The most telling point in the recent devolution poll went by largely unnoticed. Nearly 7 in 10 respondents are either in favour of the agreement or not opposed to the agreement, while fewer than 2 in 10 say it’s a bad deal.

“Nothing’s ever going to perfect in the political arena, but when only 2 in 10 territorial residents feel it’s a bad deal, we don’t think a plebiscite is a worthwhile investment,” says Kathy Gray, President of the NWT Chamber of Commerce.

The poll conducted in early March, 2013 by Ekos Research Associates interviewed 400 NWT adults and also found that 73 percent of respondents say they want a public voted on the devolution agreement.

“It’s all about the context of the question,” says Gray. “For example, ask people if they want to pay more taxes and the answer will be no. But if the next question is whether they want more health care services the answer will be yes. You can’t have one without the other. All that the
73% finding represents is support for a democratic principle. Ask respondents if they want to abandon the devolution agreement and the result would be much different.”

The second most important issue coming out of the poll is the economy and the need for jobs.  “Devolution delivers on both counts and empowers our territorial government to deal with issues of concern identified by poll respondents,” says Gray.

Direct economic benefits include:
 New GNWT revenues (up to $100M by 2020) = money for infrastructure and jobs growth;
 $26.5M for transition activities = job and business opportunities right now;
 $67.3M+ every year for program delivery = ongoing job and business opportunities; and
 New revenues for Aboriginal gov’ts = stronger regions with more investment capacity.

“It’s time to seal the deal,” says Gray, “and rolling back the hands of time isn’t going to move us forward. NWT residents support the devolution agreement and so does the NWT Chamber of Commerce.”

For more information contact:
Mike Bradshaw
Executive Director
NWT Chamber of Commerce
Phone: (867) 920 9505
Fax: (867) 873 4174
Cell: (867) 445 7680

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Angela About Angela

Hi, I am Angela Fiebelkorn, President of the Fort Simpson Chamber. You can contact us at fscofc@gmail(dot)com or call 867-695-6538.